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Old 03-21-2022, 11:38 AM   #1
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Needed: better battery...

My coach battery, a $110 entry-level lead acid battery, just does not hold a charge long enough.
It was 15 degrees outside Friday night and 40 degrees inside Saturday morning. Wife not happy. We did not run the furnace overnight. Battery would have been drained.
Will an AGM battery hold an overnight charger than my entry-level battery?
I just spent the last half hour reading posts about batteries. Many are detailed -- yet over my head.
I'm prepared to go AGM. Lithium too costly.
Thank you in advance for suggestions.
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Old 03-21-2022, 11:58 AM   #2
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My coach battery, a $110 entry-level lead acid battery, just does not hold a charge long enough.
It was 15 degrees outside Friday night and 40 degrees inside Saturday morning. Wife not happy. We did not run the furnace overnight. Battery would have been drained.
Will an AGM battery hold an overnight charger than my entry-level battery?
I just spent the last half hour reading posts about batteries. Many are detailed -- yet over my head.
I'm prepared to go AGM. Lithium too costly.
Thank you in advance for suggestions.

I am assuming that if the battery went dead you are boon-docking? If so, no single battery is going to make it through the night if you run the heater. You will be up at 3AM jumping the battery to get the genny going, if you have one. I ran three 12 volt AGM batteries in the Cyclone but we did mostly boon-docking at that time. Prior to that I ran two 6 volt golf cart batteries. With either of those,I seldom ran out of juice but we also ran the generator in the evenings for some TV news and in the mornings for coffee and microwave. That kept the batteries in reasonable shape.



So bottom line is no. One AGM or lead acid 12 volt is going to help you that much and especially when temps get that low. At those temps Lithium will probably have a problem but you can check with the Lithium crew here for more help.

2- 6 volt or 3-4 12 volt and with the 12 volt batteries AGMs give you more latitude for positioning but less reliable draw down.
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Old 03-21-2022, 12:42 PM   #3
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If your charging system has a lithium battery setting or you have solar I would suggest a 100 amp lithium with a possible upgrade to 2 lithium batteries. Compare this to maybe 40 to 50 amps in a group 24 battery before you damage it and it should be enough for a night or possibly two.

One thing to do is find out how much you are actually using to find the capacity you need. Also, if you are not aware of it, is that lead batteries don't like to go below half charge before they start to lose capacity and possible die.
Second note, unless heated or kept inside above 32 degrees lithium batteries can be damaged if charged below 32 degrees.

watch some youtubes on lithium batteries. In the long run they should be cheaper. I just got my new Renogy brand 100 ah battery with a bluetooth to the battery to keep me aware of actual charge and other info. If you get a referral from a past customer (like me) they also have about a 7% discount off sale price. 5 year USA based warranty, most are Chinese of dubious likelihood of being around for 5 months.
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Old 03-21-2022, 02:14 PM   #4
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If your charging system has a lithium battery setting or you have solar I would suggest a 100 amp lithium with a possible upgrade to 2 lithium batteries. Compare this to maybe 40 to 50 amps in a group 24 battery before you damage it and it should be enough for a night or possibly two.

One thing to do is find out how much you are actually using to find the capacity you need. Also, if you are not aware of it, is that lead batteries don't like to go below half charge before they start to lose capacity and possible die.
Second note, unless heated or kept inside above 32 degrees lithium batteries can be damaged if charged below 32 degrees.

watch some youtubes on lithium batteries. In the long run they should be cheaper. I just got my new Renogy brand 100 ah battery with a bluetooth to the battery to keep me aware of actual charge and other info. If you get a referral from a past customer (like me) they also have about a 7% discount off sale price. 5 year USA based warranty, most are Chinese of dubious likelihood of being around for 5 months.



I am not the Lithium expert by any means but from what I have been reading here his camping at 15 degrees would cause some issues with those batteries.
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Old 03-21-2022, 04:54 PM   #5
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I am not the Lithium expert by any means but from what I have been reading here his camping at 15 degrees would cause some issues with those batteries.
Lithium can provide power at 15 degrees but cannot be recharged at that temp unless the batteries are located inside the RV in temp controlled environment.

Does the OP routinely dry camp in 15 degree temps? The furnace runs a lot in those temps so need a lot of battery capacity. No significant difference in the capacity of FLA or AGM batteries, just less maintenance for AGM. I don't think one 12 V battery of any type will be sufficient in those conditions. Best thing to do is calculate demand then ensure sufficient capacity to fill it. For example, my furnace draws about 7.5 A and in 15 degree temps would likely run at least 50% of the time. So I'd need at least 45 AH to get through a 12 hour night, if nothing else was running and I charged the battery before nightfall and again after sunrise.
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Old 03-21-2022, 05:37 PM   #6
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My coach battery, a $110 entry-level lead acid battery, just does not hold a charge long enough.
It was 15 degrees outside Friday night and 40 degrees inside Saturday morning. Wife not happy. We did not run the furnace overnight. Battery would have been drained.
Will an AGM battery hold an overnight charger than my entry-level battery?
I just spent the last half hour reading posts about batteries. Many are detailed -- yet over my head.
I'm prepared to go AGM. Lithium too costly.
Thank you in advance for suggestions.
When we camp its often 20 deg in the morning. I run the genny an hour before turning in the night before. I set the temp at 50 deg and run the furnace all night long. In the morning I set it back up to 68 and there is still enough battery life to get the temp back up. That's with a basic lead acid battery.

WE sleep in sleeping bags at night. If the temp were "normal" we couldn't stand it because the bags are too hoty.

In the morning after breakfast I turn the genny back on for an hour. Again an hour at lunch. When we're not in the trailer I set the temp at 40 deg. I never shut the furnace off, just change the temp.

After adding a 100W solar panel, I could eliminate the mid day genny cycle.

Never had better performance with an AGM. In our application they didn't last any longer.
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Old 03-21-2022, 05:52 PM   #7
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We elk hunt. That is November/December. At 8000 feet it is cold. Sometimes to 10F or lower. Without multiple batteries we would never survive those nights. In spite of the multiple batteries we still run a Big Buddy to supplement. No sincle 12 volt battery is going to make it through a night like that with the furnace running. Trust me, after 20 years of that kind of camping, I know. It took one Spring turkey hunt on a 12 volt battery to find out that even with a 10 below sleeping bag you are going to get cold.
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Old 03-21-2022, 07:59 PM   #8
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We have four 6 volt GC2 (Golf cart) batteries. Itís adequate, but 6 would be better. Now I can replace my 6volts with a 200AH lithium for around $100 more than those lead acid cost. When these need to be replaced Iíll move to Lithium for sure.

My kids had AGM, they work well but are slow to charge compared to regular lead acid or lithiums. They had to run the generator too long to recharge them and they both switched back to CG2 lead acid.
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Old 03-21-2022, 08:40 PM   #9
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I see you have a 2016 Melbourne, does it still have the original battery? If so, it is about 6-7 years old. If it has not been well maintained, it could be time to replace. A well maintained battery you can get 9, maybe 10 years out it.

What style camping do you normally do? IF you are rarely go boondocking a direct replacement will be fine if you have some method to recharge the battery every day if you are boondocking and using the furnace.

Question, how big is your battery box location? Is it under the step? If so, you maybe limited on battery size due to the battery box space restrictions. You might be able to relocated the battery.

I understand the whole Lithium battery issue. They are crazy expensive.

I do not have an issues with maintenance, with that said I installed a group 31 AMG battery. Maintenance free, 105 amp hr. We boondock a fair amount. In the summer it is not an issue. Early/late season, with furnace use, we need to run a generator every day for a few hours to top off the battery.
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Old 03-22-2022, 06:49 AM   #10
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To everyone who has replied, thank you...
Based on what you have written and what I have learned in the past 24 hours, it sounds like it is not possible to run a furnace off and on all night on a single, 12-volt battery.
When it's cold, just add an extra blanket -- that's one answer.
As for buying a new battery, I'm on the verge of choosing a $258 AGM. I want to make a call to a knowledgeable Onan tech to ask him about charging an AGM with the coach generator. Something I read yesterday gives me a moment of pause about the standard charging method and harm to an AGM. Just want to be sure it's OK.
As for managing it, we use the RV once or twice a month.
We are pretty good about running the generator often enough to get as much life out of it as possible.
Most of our camping is at a park with electricity. We boondock maybe eight times a year.
The current battery is the fourth, and RV is a 2016 Melbourne, which sat on the lot at Camping World for a year before we bought it.
Again, thank you...There's a lot of smarts on this website....
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Old 03-22-2022, 12:12 PM   #11
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On a 2016 model, you should not be on your 4th battery unless you are not doing the maintenance or unless you are draining the battery down below the 50% charge level regularly.

Personally, I would figure out why you are killing batteries prematurely. Wet cell batteries needs a little maintenance. Really it is just adding only DISTILLED water to the cells periodically. Nothing else, never tap water, bottled water, spring water, nothing but distilled.

With an onboard generator, you should be able to run the genny for an hour or two a day to top off the batteries.

When sitting in storage (home or offsite), if you are not connected to shore power, make sure the battery is FULLY disconnected. There are a number of parasite power drains that do not always get disconnected, such as the CO/Gas Detector. These items can drain a battery down in a few weeks. All this cycling can shorten a batteries life.

Do you have LED bulbs in your lights? If not, consider swapping them out. All my LED bulbs use about the same amount of power as 1 or maybe 2 of my OEM incandescent bulbs.

What AMG battery are you looking at?

I purchased a 105 amp hr battery from Sam's Club, for about $105. I have no issues going 24 hours on a single charge, even with furnace use. Adding the CPAP can push the batteries limits when it is really cold (20 deg outside).
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Old 03-22-2022, 12:32 PM   #12
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On a 2016 model, you should not be on your 4th battery unless you are not doing the maintenance or unless you are draining the battery down below the 50% charge level regularly.

I really cannot say what his circumstances are but I will say that in this part of the country a battery that lasts 2 years has made it beyond the normal life span for the SW. 18 months is closer to the norm. RVs are a little longer but walk in to any Costco, Sam's Club or Auto Zone around here, ask them how often they replace batteries under warranty and see what answer you get. They don't do well here even when properly maintained.
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Old 03-22-2022, 12:57 PM   #13
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I must be the unicorn. First a starcraft pop up, then a fleetwood pop up. They don't hold heat, they are a pop up. The furnace would run 7-8 hours straight, 7 to 9 nites in a row boondocking at deer camp. Would use jumper cables connected to my running truck for 3 hours every evening to charge. Changed batteries every 5 years, except for the autozone battery that failed after 2 seasons. I use group 27 800 cca deep cycle batteties (single) from napa. Doing this for at least 25 years now.
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Old 03-22-2022, 02:02 PM   #14
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Ours came with an Interstate dual purpose marine battery. Poor choice, but it was what it was. I put the genny on 3 times a day, 1 hour each. All was OK. Then we went home and 2 weeks later when we returned it was dead.I killed that battery the first year.

Then I joined this forum and learned I needed to put a disconnect switch on the battery and use it between visits. Problem solved. Then, I put on a single solar panel and the genny requirements were further reduced.

My current battery is 7 years old. The SpG is at the top of the chart and the voltage is 12.7. I need to add water only twice a year.

Wally batteries don't last in my boat very well either. All batteries are not created alike. IMHO, the best ones out there now are Duralast from AutoZone. And I'll say it again, AGMs are good, but they simply are not cost effective.
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Old 03-22-2022, 03:31 PM   #15
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Ours came with an Interstate dual purpose marine battery. Poor choice, but it was what it was. I put the genny on 3 times a day, 1 hour each. All was OK. Then we went home and 2 weeks later when we returned it was dead.I killed that battery the first year.

Then I joined this forum and learned I needed to put a disconnect switch on the battery and use it between visits. Problem solved. Then, I put on a single solar panel and the genny requirements were further reduced.

My current battery is 7 years old. The SpG is at the top of the chart and the voltage is 12.7. I need to add water only twice a year.

Wally batteries don't last in my boat very well either. All batteries are not created alike. IMHO, the best ones out there now are Duralast from AutoZone. And I'll say it again, AGMs are good, but they simply are not cost effective.

Good post. My Remy true deep cycle lead acid batteries are 6 yrs old, , I kept them from a previous trailer because they still tested fine. I'm sure they are degraded somewhat, but nothing that shows on my resistance battery tester. The new trailer came with two 190 watt solar panels and the solar controller works well with the batteries.

I rarely dry camp, maybe a couple of times a year, and am aware of battery usage.

We camp and take extended trips during the summer, but mostly plugged in at campgrounds. These batteries will keep my 12 V fridge running all day on the road, partly from charging from the truck, and the solar helps.
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Old 03-25-2022, 06:26 AM   #16
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To everyone who has replied, thank you...
Based on what you have written and what I have learned in the past 24 hours, it sounds like it is not possible to run a furnace off and on all night on a single, 12-volt battery.
When it's cold, just add an extra blanket -- that's one answer.
As for buying a new battery, I'm on the verge of choosing a $258 AGM. I want to make a call to a knowledgeable Onan tech to ask him about charging an AGM with the coach generator. Something I read yesterday gives me a moment of pause about the standard charging method and harm to an AGM. Just want to be sure it's OK.
As for managing it, we use the RV once or twice a month.
We are pretty good about running the generator often enough to get as much life out of it as possible.
Most of our camping is at a park with electricity. We boondock maybe eight times a year.
The current battery is the fourth, and RV is a 2016 Melbourne, which sat on the lot at Camping World for a year before we bought it.
Again, thank you...There's a lot of smarts on this website....
An AGM is not going to solve the problem. What you need is a Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery. Why? Lead-acid batteries cannot be constantly discharged much more than 50% without damaging them, so you only ever get about half the energy they store. A LiFePO4 battery can be constantly discharged nearly 100% without damage so you get nearly twice the power out of them in a single charge before they quit. It's like having two lead-acids for the price of one. And LiFePO4's are half the weight of a lead-acid.

If that doesn't convince you, then you should also know that a typical LiFePO4 has about twice the life of a lead-acid.

You said you were willing to pay $258 for an AGM. You can buy a LiFePO4 for about twice that, but since it will last twice as long, then it's the same cost over time but you get a much more useable battery that offers twice the power output.

There is no problem discharging a LiFePO4 below freezing, but you can't charge one below 32 degrees F. If that's a problem, they now sell LiFePO4s with internal heaters or you can get external heaters. If you put a LiFePO4 in an insulated battery box, you can charge the LiFePO4 when temps are below freezing.

It really doesn't make much sense to use lead-acid batteries for RVs anymore especially in cases such as this where you need more usable power.
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Old 03-25-2022, 07:57 AM   #17
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On a 2016 model, you should not be on your 4th battery unless you are not doing the maintenance or unless you are draining the battery down below the 50% charge level regularly.
That looks like the key here. My single lead acid battery has lasted longer than the OP's 4 batteries. No sense buying a new battery until you figure out what is wrong.
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Old 03-25-2022, 11:15 AM   #18
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I agree on Lithium. If you drain it by accident or need it just quits putting out power till recharged with no damage.
On the below freezing problem, I don't camp in really cold weather and am installing mine inside the camper where it will always be above 32. In dead of winter I intend to take inside the house. At 27 pounds and no acid to spill that is much easier than a lead battery at 50 to 75 pounds.

Last, price. I got a Renogy 100 lithium from Renogy, 5 year warranty, for $445. And it has bluetooth built in so I can always know the charge state. And it can be charged at up to 50 amps an hour, much more than most lead batteries so less recharge time.
You can get 7% off at Renogy if you are referred, PM if you want a referral.
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Old 03-26-2022, 12:30 PM   #19
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The best battery for a coach battery is a deep cycle battery because they are made to be charged and discharged a lot . AMG is a good battery for a starting battery but not for the trailer if they get drained all they time because they won’t last long
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Old 03-26-2022, 12:32 PM   #20
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From everything you've said... You would be better off buying 2 6volt GC 2 100 amp golf cart batteries. They are true deep discharge batteries and can be discharged below 50%! Plus they charge up quickly. Yeah, they are heavy... But wired in series will give you a true 100 amp service, repeatably. And cheaper than the battery you are looking at.

I use them and am convinced they are the best bang for buck. Lithium would be better. But that is more money, as well as changing your converter so it will handle the different villages lithium needs to charge properly.

Interstate GC2. Get the best you can afford. Then enjoy....will keep the lady warm!
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